Sonos is shortly to add a powerful new member to its digital music streaming family in the shape of the ZonePlayer S5. This new all-in-one device can be controlled by iPhone or a Sonos controller, supports numerous audio formats, offers free access to thousands of online music services and benefits from each audio driver being powered by its own amplifier.
It's been a good while since we first introduced Sonos digital music streaming to our readers and things have improved a might since then. Not only has the company added a ZoneBridge and a new touch-screen controller, the CR200, but it's also released a free app for the iPhone that turns the popular mobile device into a system controller.
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Now Sonos is releasing an all-in-one digital music solution that stands alone or seamlessly integrates with an existing Sonos System. The Sonos ZonePlayer S5 will be available from the end of October in the US and offers two tweeters, two mid-range drivers and one woofer each powered by its own dedicated class-D amplifier.
Connect the S5 to your broadband router/modem via the included ethernet cable and enjoy access to over 25,000 pre-loaded free online music services, including Deezer, Last.fm and Pandora. You can plug in your MP3 player of course but the S5 also offers instant access to your iTunes library stored on PC or NAS.
Audio format support looks good too with compressed MP3, iTunes Plus, WMA, AAC (MPEG4), Ogg Vorbis, Audible (format 4), Apple Lossless, Flac (lossless) music files, as well as uncompressed WAV and AIFF files all being handled at numerous sample rates. The S5 sound system is "optimized to deliver room-filling sound with smooth tonal balance and deep bass" and multiple playlist formats are embraced as well. A nice touch is an auto-mute that shuts off the speakers when headphones are detected.
Wireless connectivity is taken care of by SonosNet 2.0, a secure AES encrypted, peer-to-peer wireless mesh network, although if you want to free your S5 from being positioned near your broadband router/modem you will need to buy a Sonos ZoneBridge and attach that to your broadband setup. After that your S5 ZonePlayer (and any additional ZonePlayers) will work wirelessly.
The S5 will be available in white only, with a light metallic grill out front and measuring 8.50 x 14.40 x 4.80 in. (217 x 365 x 123 mm) it's not going to intrude too much on your Feng Shui.
At USD$399, the S5 slots in nicely with other products in the Sonos range.
All images courtesy of Sonos.
Check out the short video below to see what the new baby can do.